20 November 2012

Congo-Kinshasa: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing - Eastern DR-Congo

Hundreds of government soldiers and police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have surrendered to rebels at a stadium in Goma. ( Resource: DR Congo Troops Surrender to Rebels )


Washington, DC — Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:



QUESTION: The M23 rebels have now taken control of Goma. Do you have any reaction to that, and do you hold Rwanda responsible for the conduct of those rebels and what they now do in Goma?

MS. NULAND: Well, obviously, we condemn the ongoing violent assault of M23 and the fact that it's now taken Goma in violation of the sovereignty of the DRC. We are calling and we are working, as you know, in New York today on a UN Security Council resolution that would also call for an immediate ceasefire, that would call for a pullback of M23 forces to their July lines, that would - we also bilaterally are working with Presidents Kagame, Kabila, Museveni to encourage them to come together in a process of dialogue to reject any kind of military solution to the problems in Eastern DRC and instead set up a political process to address grievances, to renounce any kind of external support for M23, et cetera. So - and we are also obviously looking in the New York context at increasing international sanctions on M23, et cetera. So it is a very dangerous, very worrying, very concerning situation there.

QUESTION: What about the responsibility that Rwanda has, if you see any, for the conduct of the M23 rebels? Because the Kabila government has refused to speak directly to M23, saying instead that they should really be talking to Rwanda.

MS. NULAND: Again, we do think that Rwanda has got to be part of the solution here, that they have influence and that they need to use it with regard to demilitarizing the situation, getting the M23 to pull back, to ensure that they are not externally supported, et cetera. So as you know, Under Secretary Sherman was there; she's had conversations with these leaders, and we are also using other channels to try to encourage the three leaders to work together on a lasting solution.

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